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Thread: Oxygen

  1. #1
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    Oxygen

    Hello, I am a newbie. Someone close to me is fighting stage 4 lung cancer. They have been put on oxygen but as of late the oxygen alone is not enough. They use it when they need to; which is daily and sometimes frequent. But as late the oxygen tank is not enough, and they need an nebulizer with the oxygen.

    Is this common, at stage four? They are very frightened because of the laboured breathing. And I worry about their anxiety. as well.

    Can someone explain to me the use of oxygen being beneficial. I am a little clueless as why they need a nebulizer as well now. As they have only been only oxygen two weeks.

    Thank you for reading.

  2. #2
    Top User april51's Avatar
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    Well, Summer, the body needs oxygen and "they" are not getting enough of it. When tumors in your lungs take up more room you can't get enough air or oxygen to breath easily. The nebi opens the blood vessels so more oxygen can get into the bloodstream to the rest of the body.

    We are a pretty safe community here if you would care to give us some more information. Jody
    May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour. Born 1960. Diagnosed 4/2011 with one tumor, LUL, NSCLC. Tumor size 1.1 inches. Thoracic surgery 6/1/2011. No action taken. Eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Carbo and Taxol. Follow up with four rounds of Carbo and Alimta.
    December 2011 CT scan shows all clear.
    April 2012 CT scan shows all clear. July 2012 had several x-rays taken at the chiropractor for shoulder pain. Took them to the onc and nothing suspicious noted. See them again in Oct.
    October didn't work out. Pain in the left shoulder continued to worsen and lymph nodes in the supraclavical swelled so I called the onc and they bumped the regular scan up to September 19 and we went for the results on the 24th. The tumor is back and the spread is extensive. Option 1: Try targeting chemos that may work and then on to clinical trials. These would give me about a year or so if the cancer responds. Option 2: Do no treatment and let nature take its course. This will give me six months give or take. As good as I feel right now, Iím going for door #2 and will continue to live well and enjoy myself until I donít. Iíll keep you posted. Live it up everyone!

    7 months into hospice and palliative care. It has been a very good relationship with the organization as a whole with a minor glitch. April 2013 spent the night at hospice facility, PICC line inserted for morphine drip. I said I wouldnít but, had a hospital bed delivered. Started 10 rounds of palliative radiation to shrink the neck tumor. Busy month for me!

    I've taken a couple of nasty falls this last week. (first of & mid-May) Right on the cancer shoulder. So I have a life alert necklace on me now. I wish I could get my hands on a small scooter!

    There is another node swelling on the other side of my neck. Still small.

    April51's (Jody) daughter posted that her Mother's journey in this world had ended on July 8th 2013.You touched so very many lives. Soar high Jody!

  3. #3
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    Thank you for you quick response. I know it is spread in the breast, bones, pancreas and ribs now. My aunt was first diagnosed in Feb 2012, and undergone chemo and radiation treatments. She's been getting chemo this week, so when I heard the news about the nebulizer now being used, I assumed it was the chemo today that made her breathing worse. I think she is in pretty good shape for all that horrible stuff going on inside. She was quite sleepy tonight, when mum visited her. She's finding stuff like going out to dinner etc hard and stays at home mostly. She has alot of support emotionally. and lots of family and friends.

    The breathing got worse two weeks ago, when she had to be put on oxygen. It was helping her, and although she went through a couple of tanks last week, she managed to not really use it the last day I was down (Monday). So really frightened me when I heard she needed more. At least it#s helping her and that's the mean thing. I worry so much about her cause I think as first she was in denial, and now it is getting to her. She talked about dying briefly to me and how if she could never take a drink etc again, to not be in this situation she would. She's also alot more bold now and not afraid to tell people what she really thinks. I am worried because of the anxiety it#s causing her. She took 1mg of diazapam to help, but from experience with anxiety attacks, she may need more than 1mg.

    She doesn't understand why she has to use the oxygen either, and compared it to my granny; because my granny lasted alot longer without using it but she had emphazema.

    I worry because she still smokes when she is not using the oxygen; but that is her personal choice, so i cannot judge.

    She really is a fighter, and I hope this nebulizer isn't a sign of anything getting progressively worse.....


    thanks again!

  4. #4
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    Hi there. My dad has it in his lungs,liver and lymph nodes. His breathing started to get worse but the doctors couldnt hear anything in his lungs. When they did an xray it showed he had pneumonia really bad. If they didnt xray, ask if they could do one? It will help to let you know what is going on. My dad is now 10 days in the hospital on a nebulizer several times a day. His oxygen level coming in was 73. Highest we could get it was 92 with oxygen. Now that the antibiotics are working its 99 with oxygen and 88 without. The neb helps open up his airways. He has been on oxygen for all of 10 days now. Dad also doesnt understand why he needs oxygen. He would take it off. I have had to stay the nights with him as he hates being alone plus the first antibiotic made him see things that were not really there. God Bless

  5. #5
    Top User april51's Avatar
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    I've been learning lately that us terminal lung cancer patients have our own brand of denial. Every time they take you to the next step, morphine, oxygen, nebi, etc. it means we are getting sicker. We don't like it. I will be on oxygen, I predict, in the next two weeks. I have used the nebi for two years now, but lately it's almost every day. Emphysema is a different illness and takes longer to kill you. Lung cancer grows faster and takes up more space in your lungs. The chemo didn't cause her to have to use oxygen.

    My dad passed from a totally different disease but what killed him was food and liquid in his lungs. He used the nebi and oxygen also. The fact is other things took up too much space in his lungs.

    Most importantly, let her talk. Listen to her and give her what she needs. J
    May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour. Born 1960. Diagnosed 4/2011 with one tumor, LUL, NSCLC. Tumor size 1.1 inches. Thoracic surgery 6/1/2011. No action taken. Eight weeks of radiation and chemo. Carbo and Taxol. Follow up with four rounds of Carbo and Alimta.
    December 2011 CT scan shows all clear.
    April 2012 CT scan shows all clear. July 2012 had several x-rays taken at the chiropractor for shoulder pain. Took them to the onc and nothing suspicious noted. See them again in Oct.
    October didn't work out. Pain in the left shoulder continued to worsen and lymph nodes in the supraclavical swelled so I called the onc and they bumped the regular scan up to September 19 and we went for the results on the 24th. The tumor is back and the spread is extensive. Option 1: Try targeting chemos that may work and then on to clinical trials. These would give me about a year or so if the cancer responds. Option 2: Do no treatment and let nature take its course. This will give me six months give or take. As good as I feel right now, Iím going for door #2 and will continue to live well and enjoy myself until I donít. Iíll keep you posted. Live it up everyone!

    7 months into hospice and palliative care. It has been a very good relationship with the organization as a whole with a minor glitch. April 2013 spent the night at hospice facility, PICC line inserted for morphine drip. I said I wouldnít but, had a hospital bed delivered. Started 10 rounds of palliative radiation to shrink the neck tumor. Busy month for me!

    I've taken a couple of nasty falls this last week. (first of & mid-May) Right on the cancer shoulder. So I have a life alert necklace on me now. I wish I could get my hands on a small scooter!

    There is another node swelling on the other side of my neck. Still small.

    April51's (Jody) daughter posted that her Mother's journey in this world had ended on July 8th 2013.You touched so very many lives. Soar high Jody!

  6. #6
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    I am sorry your aunt is so ill. When my mom was first diagnosed she was on oxygen and a nebulizer, the chemo really knocked back the cancer a great deal and she has not had to use it for over a year. She is still terminal but the chemo gave her more time. You say your aunt is on chemo, that means they feel they can help her some. Hang in there we are here for you.
    Mom's xray July 2011 looks suspicious, CAT scan July 2011 SCLC ES diagnosed August 2011
    Etoposide Carboplatin begins august 24th 2011
    CAT December 2011 lung tumors gone or greatly reduced, liver tumor not detectable PCR January 2012 CAT March 2012 more shrinkage
    CAT July 2012 tumors growing July 2012 Topotecan CAT October 2012 Liver tumor has grown October 2012 Taxotere begins CT scan - no growth - brain mets, WBRT in February, CT Scan in March 2013 shows more growth, begin Gemzar.
    Mom passed away July 8, 2013.

  7. #7
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    Summer,
    I had surgery last week , and in ICU was on both oxygen and a nebulizer treatment every 12 hours. That was a 1st time for both for me. I could really tell a difference after the nebulizer...my lungs felt like they opened up and I could breathe. Have your aunt talk to her Doctor about the anxiety, we have every reason to have attacks .

 
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